Program helps students develop through music and art

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A youth program through the Community Development Corporation and Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation is teaching kids the foundations of music.

Musicians from the Florida Orchestra run the six-week summer program.

At the Thonotosassa Recreation Center, 7-year-old Asher Clinge learned to play the violin this summer.

"I like all the songs and I'm getting use to it," Asher said.

The program is free, but the lessons are priceless.

“We get to play fun stuff, and we get stickers for playing violin,” said student Tatianna Thermneau. 

The goal is to use music to develop life skills like anger management and problem-solving. 

“It’s the most satisfying experience to show them something new, something they never had access too,” said teacher Valeria Frege. 

Professional artists serve as mentors to the students. 

“Youth love music,” said CDC member Ron Bradford. “They love drumming, they love violin, they love art and it just gives them a very creative way to learn different skills.”

The students are striking the right note, building self-confidence and positive habits for future success.